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Angioarchitecture of the optic nerve 2. blood supply to the chiasma and the optic nerve and microcirculation within the optic nerve in guinea pigs



Angioarchitecture of the optic nerve 2. blood supply to the chiasma and the optic nerve and microcirculation within the optic nerve in guinea pigs



Kumamoto Medical Journal 38(1): 9-18



The basic pattern of the vascular distribution surrounding the optic nerve was studied in the guinea pig, as a preliminary step for investigating ischemic optic neuropathy. The angioarchitecture of the chiasma and the entire optic nerve, including the vascular distribution within them, was fairly clarified. The dorsal aspect of the chiasma is supplied by the lateral and superior chiasmal arteries, while the ventral aspect is supplied by the branches derived from the cerebral arterial circle. Because the central retinal artery was not identified in the guinea pig, the anterior part of the optic nerve was assumed as the portion distal to the anastomosed point of the ophthalmic artery derived from the internal carotid artery and that from the external carotid artery. This part is supplied by the branches bifurcated from the ciliary arteries. At the optic nerve head, slender branches derived from the arterial circle (circle of Zinn) pass toward the surface of the optic nerve. The posterior part of the optic nerve is mostly supplied by the branches extending from the chiasmal artery, except for the recurrent branches derived from the ciliary arteries. The dorsomedial aspect is irrigated by the branches derived from the superior chiasmal artery; the ventrolateral aspect is irrigated by the branches which are bifurcated from the cerebral arterial circle. Slender intraneural (vascular) branches are present within the optic nerve and they anastomose with each other, forming a network. The existence of the end artery within the optic nerve was not confirmed.

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